I discovered sweet potatoes about two years ago, but I’ve never found the right recipe for oven fries. While I love the soft and sweet insides of a sweet potato no matter what’s on the outside, a crispy browned exterior with a flavor of its own really makes them worthwhile.
Lo and behold that I should run into the same recipe in two places yesterday while searching for another try via foodblogsearch.com. It’s a fantastic blend of spices I rarely use, and I just so happened to have a bottle of coriander seed I’d bought for another recipe!
This particular blend comes from Kalyn’s Kitchen, one of my new favorites. I love her recipes and I love their nutritional content. The recipe calls for fennel seed, but since I only had a fresh fennel bulb and stalks, I just ripped off the fine part of the fronds and briefly toasted them in a pan before throwing it in the spice grinder with the coriander, hot pepper, and oregano.
I’ve tried cutting my fries into wedges and rounds, but Kalyn’s shoestring approach is far and above the best I’ve ever tried. These are what she predicted they’d be: an instant classic!
4 sweet potatoes (I used huge ones, so you might need more)
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp ground coriander
1 Tbsp ground toasted fennel (or just fennel from the bottle)
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp ancho chili powder
2 Tbsp kosher salt
Preheat oven to 425. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into shoestrings, about 1/4″ thick. Try to keep them evenly sized so they cook at the same rate.
In a spice grinder (we use a coffee grinder), mix together the coriander, fennel, oregano, and chili powder. Kalyn says you’ll have extra, but I used all of this because the sweet potatoes were so big.
In a large bowl, use your hands to toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, spice mix, and salt to evenly coat. Lay the potatoes on a cookie sheet in a single layer, allowing for more than one batch if necessary.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, remove from the oven, and flip with a spatula. Bake for another 10-15 minutes. Remove from the cookie sheet to a plate or cutting board immediately so they don’t stick to the pan.
*Updated 9/10/09 – Kalyn pointed out on her blog in response to a comment of mine that this recipe actually came from Epicurious.com. Woops! Beginner’s mistake, I hope 🙂 Properly credited above.